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Those of you who've been following me for a while know my stand on Bracycephallic (short-faced) dog breeds. For a long time I've known the health problems these dogs are faced with, and would educate the few people I knew in real life about the issue as best I could (friends and family). This issue brings out a fire in me that few other topics do, and now that I've begun to actually work with these dogs at my job ( a Petsmart grooming salon), it's brought the issue into a new light for me. I don't know how many of you out there know this, but at Petsmart (thank goodness) will only take brachycephallic breeds such as pugs, English bulldogs, French bulldogs, Boxers, and Boston terriers as "express" services, during which the dog is never put in a kennel and always has to have the loop lead in an x-shaped harness around their torso to prevent breathing problems. We also use an over-the shoulder loop for breeds such as yorkies and chihuahuas prone to collapsing trachea, but that's a different issue. The reason why so many precautions are taken for these flat-nosed breeds is because before, when they were not imposed, dogs died. The fact that so many people don't understand the extreme fragility of these breeds, many of whom suffer daily and very often must undergo surgery just to be able to breathe naturally and even reproduce, is astounding. But because I don't have any kind of veterinary degree, I don't feel qualified to attempt to fully educate anyone here. Instead, I've compiled a comprehensive list of reading and videos for anyone interested. This is only the tip of the iceberg, so I highly recommend going beyond these few resources.
And Youtube has plenty of videos by qualified sources as well as general journalism (not all of these are made by vets): You'll notice a majority of these videos were not made in the U.S. Britain seems to be a lot more aware of this issue in comparison with us here in 'merica.
To clear up any miscommunication, I am NOT advocating for a purge of all of these dog breeds. There are many who happen to lead normal, healthy lives. It's up to the consumers, breeders, and kennel clubs, however, to make sure standards of health are met. In one of the articles in the Tumblr blog, it is mentioned that among other standards, open nostrils is one of them. But because the other qualities have been focused on so much more, we are where we are today. What I am trying to say here is to be aware of these issues and make sure that where you get a brachy dog is extremely important. This is not a call to harass people who own brachy dogs, only to spread awareness of an issue that needs to be met before it potentially gets worse. We should be breeding for health a lot more than we are already with EVERY single dog breed, not just the brachies. But because they face some of the worst side effects of bad breeding out there, I felt it was necessary on my part, as someone who cares a lot about every dog and wants nothing but a clean bill of health for each of them, to speak up on the issue with what I know. To anyone who owns a brachy, or knows anyone who does, this is no attack on you! There is no problem with loving your dogs! It's simply an issue of making sure to be educated, and it's up to everyone to do their part.
I have existential crises a lot. If you don't mind weird journals, welcome aboard!
I also write a comic called What's Your Damage, found here: frostedcanid.deviantart.com/ar… Which is my absolute obsession and current life's work. Yay? I hope you like it, because it's a lot of what I post. Ye've been warned!